Graduate studies at Western
|Abstract||There is now abundant evidence for the existence of two types of processing in human reasoning, decision making, and social cognition — one type fast, automatic, effortless, and non-conscious, the other slow, controlled, effortful, and conscious — which may deliver different and sometimes conflicting results (for a review, see Evans 2008). More recently, some cognitive psychologists have proposed ambitious theories of cognitive architecture, according to which humans possess two distinct reasoning systems — two minds, in fact — now widely referred to as System 1 and System 2 (Evans 2003; Evans and Over 1996; Kahneman and Frederick 2002; Sloman 1996, 2002; Stanovich 1999, 2004, this volume). A composite characterization of the two systems runs as follows. System 1 is a collection of autonomous subsystems, many of which are old in evolutionary terms and whose operations are fast, automatic, effortless, non-conscious, parallel, shaped by biology and personal experience, and independent of working memory and general intelligence. System 2 is more recent, and its processes are slow, controlled, effortful, conscious, serial, shaped by culture and formal tuition, demanding of working memory, and related to general intelligence. In addition, it is often claimed that the two systems employ different procedures and serve different goals, with System 1 being highly contextualized, associative, heuristic, and directed to goals that serve the reproductive interests of our genes, and System 2 being decontextualized, rule-governed, analytic, and serving our goals as individuals. This is a very strong hypothesis, and theorists are already recognizing that it requires substantial qualification and complication (Evans 2006a, 2008, this volume; Stanovich this volume; Samuels, this volume). There are numerous issues. Do the various features mentioned really divide up into just two groups in the neat way suggested? Are the features ascribed to each system exclusive to that system, and are they essential to it? Are the systems completely separate or do they share processing resources? Do they operate in parallel and compete for control of behaviour, or do they cooperate, with System 1 generating default responses that are then assessed and sometimes overridden by System 2? There are also related questions about the memory systems associated with....|
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